Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/8/13
LOS ANGELES -- Brandon McCarthy knows what it is like to be hit in the head full force by a baseball. He also knows what it will take to provide viable protection for a pitcher: good old entrepreneurship. Greed, even. Weve put things on the moon before, so I feel like we can create some sort of device that fits over your head and protects you, McCarthy said. Its going to be a money-maker, whatever it is, because you can sell it to youth leagues and people will wear it all the way through. Usually good ideas go where the money is, so I think if enough companies look at that, or people in the basement that are really creative ... Someone will do it. Its just a matter of when, not if. McCarthy suffered a life-threating brain contusion, a fractured skull and an epidural hematoma when he was struck on the right side of his head by line drive with Oakland on Sept. 5. He underwent surgery to remove pressure on the brain that night and missed the rest of the season. Torontos J.A. Happ was struck in the left ear by a line drive Tuesday, hours before McCarthy took the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Happ was taken by stretcher from the field suffering from a head bruise and cut ear before being released from a Tampa area hospital Wednesday morning, on crutches. McCarthy was not in the D-backs main clubhouse area, where the game was being shown on TV. The clubhouse immediately grew quiet as the players looked on. No, McCarthy said when asked if he saw the replay. And I wont be. Major league baseball has studied ways to help protect pitchers, but nothing has been found. Cap inserts like batters wore decades ago have been suggested, but how much protection would they provide? Most everything that has come out wouldnt have protected me, and it wouldnt have protected (Happ) if he got hit directly in the ear, McCarthy said. You at the point now when you are looking at hitting helmets. Youd have to have something that would protect the ear, and at that point how vulnerable is the face. Its kind of a slippery slope. Someone will have to come up with something really good and really sound ... Until someone makes something that works, it is going to be tough for everybody to wear. Given McCarthy's intensely personal interest in the subject and his avid participation on Twitter (he has 113,955 followers), he was more than just a casual observer on Wednesday when the groundswell reaction to Happ's injury surfaced: Baseball needs to implement mandatory protection for pitchers. Do you think MLB should regulate headgear for Pitcher protection? happ safety concussions TBD in the AM (@TBDintheAM) May 8, 2013 McCarthy has nothing but sympathy for Happ, but he considers the instant reaction overly simplistic and misguided. He took to Twitter to share his sentiments, and quickly found himself immersed in a spirited dialogue. Anybody taking the hard line stance today that pitchers should be wearing helmets, need to get out their tool kits and make a good one. Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 8, 2013 There is nothing acceptable out there so the discussion at this point is worthless. Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 8, 2013McCarthy tweeted that he's not opposed to the idea -- "whatever feels OK and works is all I care about" -- but he doesn't want to confuse reality with idealism. There is no discussion to be had. It's simple. Want money? Invent something that protects pitchers heads at all levels, make a ton of it. Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 8, 2013 And that set off some critics, including one particularly callous response. @bmccarthy32 oversimplification you have to discuss it to figure what will sell!! Use your head for something besides a ball return!!!! Mark Lockhart (@mlock5150) May 8, 2013 To which McCarthy could only tweet "wow" in response. lots of anger over me saying a discussion is worthless. Sounds about right stopKONY Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 8, 2013 Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
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